We’ve all grown up singing the Christmas song that seems to go on forever: “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
Don’t go into convulsions or start rolling your eyes, yes I know Christmas is over, and yes I know I’m talking about a Christmas song, but I hate to break the news to you, the Christmas season hasn’t ended. Actually, it should just be beginning.
Don’t panic, you don’t have to buy any more gifts, and it’s okay to take down your tree and start thinking about New Year’s festivities. In the South that consist of college bowls with huge helpings of black-eyed peas and cornbread (go FSU). I’ll explain the peas and cornbread tradition next week.
Sorry, my ADD kicked in and I had to chase a rabbit, let’s get back on track–and back to our lesson. In many cultures the Yuletide Season is just beginning, and will end on January 6–Epiphany. I’ll explain all this as we go along.
This all started in the Renaissance time. The Yule log would be burned on Christmas Eve to kick off the Christmas festival to last 12 days–or Yuletide. The word yule comes from an Old Norse word meaning feast. Now you know why some television stations run a picture of a burning fireplace for 24 hours on Christmas.
During the Renaissance there was a lot of disagreement between Catholics and Protestants, the Pope and the Jesuits, and among different Protestant factions. People were being tortured and burned at the stake for their beliefs in Christ and how to worship Him, so celebrating Christmas was a very subdued event. There were no flashing lights on thatched roofs or blow-up snowmen in yards. In fact, at different times and in various places it was illegal to be either Protestant or Catholic, so celebrating according to your particular Christian heritage was difficult, if not impossible.
At one time being Catholic was illegal in England and Ireland. This is when the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was conceived.It helped Catholic children learn about Catholicism. Each day of the song has a hidden meaning. Since today is actually the “Second Day of Christmas,” I’m going to reveal the first two meaning. Check back each day for a new lesson and another meaning.
Partridge in a Pear Tree— Jesus Christ, the one and only true Son of God
- Two Turtle Doves—The Old and New Testament of the Holy Bible–God’s final and infallible word.
Tomorrow I’ll explain who the “true love” is, and what the represent. Try to guess, but don’t cheat.